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Review: Digital Landscape Photography

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Summary: I highly recommend Digital Landscape Photography by John and Barbara Gerlach. If you are at all interested in landscape photography, get this book! Digital Landscape Photography covers cameras, lenses, exposure, composition, HDR, and panoramas.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1. Landscapes are Everywhere
  • Chapter 2. Cameras and Accessories
  • Chapter 3. Choosing and Using Lenses
  • Chapter 4. Mastering Exposure
  • Chapter 5. Techniques for Sharp Images
  • Chapter 6. Light on the Landscape
  • Chapter 7. Composing Pleasing Images
  • Chapter 8. Special Subjects
  • Chapter 9. High Dynamic Range Images
  • Chapter 10. Panoramas

Review: The chapter on cameras and accessories emphasizes investing in a camera system not just the camera. The authors recommend Canon and Nikon cameras because both brands have an excellent selection of lenses and accessories. This is the same advice that I give my students. The book is filled with excellent tips such as how to use a back button to auto-focus rather than having the shutter button initiate the auto-focus function. 34 out of 36 customer reviews on Amazon, give Digital Landscape Photography 4 stars and above with 26 5 star reviews. This is an outstanding book that is clearly written and informative. Click to continue »

Review: Night Photography: Finding Your Way in the Dark

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Night Photography: Finding Your Way in the Dark is a amazing book that has many examples of fantastic night photographs as well as step-by-step instructions for how to get the same kind of results.


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Review: Crafting Reality: Painting with Light

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Captain America and 3-D BoyCrafting Reality: Painting with Light is an inspiring eBook by Eric Curry. The photographs in the eBook look like HDR images but they are created in quite a different way. Small sections of the subject are illuminated from different directions then merged together with Photoshop. Eric goes into detail about how to take the photographs and the settings to use in Photoshop.

Throughout his eBook, Eric emphasizes that you should think and plan your shots.

So often during my public presentations and coaching new photographers I advise them to think in terms of “concepts.” Do not just go out into the environment and photograph neat stuff you happen to see, but take the next step and envision an idea first, then try to create that vision you see in your mind’s eye.

This is good advice and Eric spends a lot of time telling you how to plan a photoshoot. He tells you what he does and why as well as which equipment he uses. Crafting Reality: Painting with Light is an extremely thorough how-to book and I highly recommend it.

You can find more videos about painting with light at Eric’s YouTube Channel and on his website American Pride and Passion.

Review: The Digital Photography Book, Part 4

Friday, March 9th, 2012

The Digital Photography Book, Part 4Summary: The Digital Photography Book, Part 4 by Scott Kelby is a worthy addition to his series of digital photography books. It picks up where volume 3 left off and, like the other books in the series, contains many useful tips written in a non-technical, conversational style.

Scott Kelby, author of The Digital Photography Book(the best-selling digital photography book of all time), is back with another follow-up to his smash best-seller, with an entirely new book that picks up right where volume 3 left off. It’s even more of that “Ah ha, so that’ s how they do it,” straight-to-the-point, skip-the-techno-jargon stuff people can really use today, and that made volume 1 the world’s best-selling book on digital photography.

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Review: Photographically Speaking: A Deeper Look at Creating Stronger Images

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Summary: Buy Photographically Speaking: A Deeper Look at Creating Stronger Images (the Kindle version or the Printed Version) now! David duChemin has written a fantastic book that clearly examines what it takes to make photographs that communicate. If you are serious about photography, read this book!

Perhaps the steepest learning curve in photography is learning to see as the camera sees.

Review: David duChemin has his own way of talking about photographs. Rather than using standard vocabulary of art criticism, he prefers to talk about the Message, Elements, and Decisions.

The camera will create an illusion the moment we release the shutter; if we want a hand in creating that illusion, we need to understand it.

He states that first you have to see the 2-D image that the camera will make when you shoot a 3-D subject. By seeing and detecting the lines and shapes that the camera will record, you will be better able to control what the photograph will communicate. The Message is what you intend to say, the Elements are what is within the frame, and the Decisions are the choices made for aperture, speed, ISO, point of view, etc.

This is not a book for everyone. If you shoot intuitively and don’t want to think, this book isn’t for you. The book covers a lot of the same territory that I cover in my beginning lectures. My approach is that you need to learn as much as possible about your tool, the camera, to improve your skills. The process is probably going to be painful but it is the best way to improve your photography. In my mind, if you don’t know anything about how a camera works, you are using your lizard brain to take photographs. This is the part of our brain that we share with reptiles. Unfortunately,our lizard brains don’t want to take photographs. Mainly, our lizard brains want to eat and have sex. If you don’t believe me, next time you are confronted by an alligator, give him your camera and see what happens.

Review of Digital Photography Success

Monday, June 13th, 2011
My Take: Add Composition to the Aperture, Speed, ISO mantra.

Have you wanted to create pictures that National Geographic would think are high quality?  Have you just purchased a digital SLR, but have no idea how to use it to take great photographs?  Do you want to achieve digital photography success?  From a review of Digital Photography Success, we can see author Amy Renfrey has created eBooks and a monthly e-magazine to help you create eye-popping photographs.

Why listen to Amy?  She went from beginning amateur to professional in a week.  Too good to be true?  Not at all.  She learned that light is the most important aspect in photography.  Not the camera.  Not the flash.  Not the lens.  But the light that the photography needs to make beautiful pictures. Click to continue »

Enhance Google Searches for Photography

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Google has a new service to enhance Google searches.

In order to use Google Subscribed Links, you must create a new Google Account or sign in with an existing Google Account.

Photography Tricks and Effects

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

I recently came across an inspiring e-book by Evan Sharboneau that contains many examples of trick photography and special effects. I am really impressed. This is a 190 page e-book filled with impressive photos and how-to tips. The author is young but really knows his stuff. I highly recommend it. You also get a bonus e-book covering photography fundamentals, flashes, lenses, and Photoshop plugins as well as how to make money with photography. This guy obviously lives and breaths photography!

Follow this link to find out more about Photography Tricks and Effects!